Your Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Marketing

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Reactions, Instant Articles, and Facebook Live… oh my! Facebook keeps changing — but don’t forget the basics. We’ve got you covered with this data-backed guide to posting on Facebook. These Facebook best practices are based on our analysis of 12.9 million Facebook posts from 25,000 brands over a three year period. Read on for tips to boost your brand engagement on Facebook.

First, let’s break down Facebook engagement. Facebook interactions come in the form of likes, shares, comments, and now reactions. While Facebook hasn’t announced when the counts of other Reactions will be exposed through their API, here’s the breakdown of Facebook interactions for brands.

Facebook like versus share versus comment

In total, likes comprise the majority of total Facebook engagement for brands, followed by shares, and then comments.

Now onto the attributes of top-performing Facebook posts. Within the limited attributes of a Facebook post — text, image, and link or CTA — a social media manager has many choices that impact the reach of each post. Here’s a data-backed look at how the elements of a Facebook post correlate with engagement.

What is the ideal word count for a Facebook post?

Word count makes a huge difference in Facebook post engagement. More than two thirds of Facebook posts (68.61 percent) have a word counts between 11 and 50. Long-winded posts are uncommon; Facebook posts with over 100 words account for less than one percent of all posts. Posts between 1 and 10 words, and posts over 100 words, significantly outperform those in the middle.

When it comes to engagement, however, it’s best to stick to the extremes. Posts between one and 10 words, and posts over 100 words, significantly outperform those in the middle.

How do images, hashtags, and punctuation affect Facebook engagement?

Imagery makes the biggest difference in Facebook engagement; posts with an impact see 1.4 times more interactions than posts without images on average.

Hashtags and exclamation points have little to no impact on Facebook engagement rates for brands. And contrary to popular belief, Facebook posts that pose questions receive less engagement than those that don’t.

What should I publish on Facebook?

The five most popular types of Facebook content to publish are:

  • Visual content: quotes, fun facts, comic/cartoons, memes [INSPIRE/AMUSE]
  • Quizzes/Trivia [ENTERTAIN]
  • Content that helps your audience overcome problems they face [ADVISE]
  • Challenges [UNITE]
  • Free resources [GIVE]

The five least popular types of Facebook content to post are:

  • White papers
  • E-books
  • Case studies
  • Company news
  • Customer reviews

What is the best day to post on Facebook?

If Facebook posting followed egalitarian principles, we’d expect to see 14.29 percent of Facebook posts any day of the week (100 percent divided by seven days of the week). But we can see in the chart below that Facebook posting sees a flurry of activity in the middle of the work week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each account for over 16 percent of total Facebook posts. The Facebook frenzy dies down sharply over the weekends.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook posts see the greatest engagement on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when there’s the lowest competition to get your content seen in the news feed.

Best days of week to post:

Monday, Saturday, Sunday

What is the best time to post on Facebook?

We normalized around the East Coast time zone for our analysis of the ideal time to post on Facebook. Overall there is little difference in Facebook interactions per post throughout the day. Posts published in the wee hours of the morning and over the lunch hour see marginally higher levels of engagement.

The volume of Facebook activity picks up significantly throughout the East Coast afternoon, with posting volume spiking at 4pm EST.

Best times of day to post

1am-4am, 11am-2pm (EST)

What are the best brands on Facebook?

Want to learn from the best of the best on Facebook? You can start by checking out the top 20 most stalked brands in our platform. Or if you’re looking for industry-specific examples check out how your brand stacks up against leading brands in our B2B and B2C social media impact reports.

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